Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has entered into a definitive agreement with The Hartford to purchase its Retirement Plans business for $400 million, subject to adjustment at closing.

With a strong focus on the mid-size market, MassMutual's Retirement Services Division currently provides retirement plan services to more than 7,600 plans, serves more than 1.6 million participants, and has more than $66.2 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2012. The Hartford's Retirement Plans business, which also provides administrative services for defined benefit programs and has $54.9 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2012, provides retirement plan services to more than 33,000 plans and serves more than 1.5 million participants.

Expected to close by end of 2012, the transaction will increase the size of MassMutual's retirement business; the combined retirement businesses are projected to have approximately $120 billion in assets under management and 3 million participants.

"Following the closing of the transaction, we look forward to combining the best of our two organizations to offer enhanced capabilities and greater overall value across a broader retirement market," said Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of MassMutual. "Our Retirement Services Division has experienced record growth in recent years and is an important contributor to MassMutual's overall profitability and success. This transaction enables us to accelerate growth into new sectors, add complementary distribution capabilities, and nearly double the number of retirement plan participants we serve."

Under the leadership of Elaine Sarsynski, EVP and head of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division and chairman and CEO of MassMutual International LLC, a plan will be implemented to ensure an orderly integration of this acquisition over the coming year, the insurer says.

Carrie Burns is the editor in chief of Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.

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